The Deeply Formed Life: Five Transformative Values To Root Us in the Way of Jesus

WaterBrook. Sept. 2020. 272p. ISBN 9780525654384. $24. REL
Villodas, of New York-based New Life Fellowship, writes a book that is meant for Christians who wish to go one step further in their faith. Based on decades of experience as a pastor, this debut guide is predicated on five values that are not always easy defined or discussed: contemplative rhythms, racial reconciliation, self-examination, sexual wholeness, and mission. Villodas seeks to bring these often intertwining and overlapping subjects to the forefront of believers who may be questioning their own personal values. The author’s experience working at a multigenerational, multiethnic church informs his writing throughout, including specific examples on how church leaders can work toward racial healing. Villodas is a gifted writer whose practical examples show signs of being a talented orator as well. There is much here that nonbelievers can take away profitably, including sections on how our beliefs have been shaped by our family of origin, along with how it would serve all of us to become more thoughtful listeners. Notably, the chapter that deals with self-searching and examination seems particularly apt in the COVID-19 era.
VERDICT Villodas’s message will resonate especially with Christian readers who enjoy writers like Shane Claiborne and Tony Campolo. Highly recommended.
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